Retired teacher wants to 'stop the bleed' if there's a school shooting

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Even after retirement, some teachers never stop helping students. Betty Gordon, a retired English teacher from Classical and Mount Pleasant High Schools, made a generous donation within the last two weeks of two Intermediate Stop the Bleed emergency kits to Toll Gate High School, and two basic kits to the St. Rose of Lima School.

Gordon was motivated to make the donations due to the rise of mass killings in the U.S.

“It’s becoming every weekend, or every week that there’s another killing. It’s even coming to Rhode Island,” said Gordon. “This has been festering ever since the shooting of the Parson’s boy in September of 2018. He was just standing outside of the Providence Career Technical High School. My grandchild plays basketball for Toll Gate around there and it really hit home.”

“A major problem of treating victims of mass shootings is getting to them and a person can die within five minutes of being wounded,” says Gordon. “It’s that critical time that an EMT must get to that person. But they can’t just run into the building with an active shooter, so we need to be the help until the help arrives.”

Each Basic Stop the Bleed emergency kit comes equipped with a C-A-T Tourniquet, a six-inch Responder ETD, two units of compressed gauze, two pairs of gloves, one pair of trauma shears, one survival blanket, a permanent marker, and an instruction guide. Other more expensive kits such as the Intermediate, or Advanced package contain more equipment like entrance/exit wound seals, and special combat gauze. These emergency kits can range in price from $50 to $100 due to their content. When asked about their expensive price, Gordon said, “I think it’s because if you were to purchase everything separately, you would come very close to paying that price. It sounds expensive but when you think it can save a life, $50 is nothing.”

The emergency kits at each school are located in the nurses’, or physical education teacher’s office because they are trained on how to operate them. However Gordon recommends that everyone should be trained on how to use them, too.

“The instructional videos I watched on YouTube were extremely clear. They show you how to pack the wound, and how to use the tourniquet above the affected area,” she said.

Gordon urges others to contribute to their local schools as well. “I know that only 20 kits were distributed last year at CCRI. I would love to see 20 emergency kits at each school, and in each classroom of Rhode Island within the next year. But I know the budget wouldn’t be enough.” She also recommends to “Contact schools to see if they want or need the donation, and then bring them into the office. It’s even cheaper to buy multiples at once.”

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